Israeli bulldozers raze house in Jerusalem neighborhood

Israeli bulldozers Wednesday razed a Palestinian house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Issawiya, according to WAFA correspondent.

She said that Israeli police and municipal staff barged their way into the neighborhood, cordoned off the 200-square-meter family house of Hatem Abu Riyala before demolishing it for the sixth consecutive time, displacing his eight-member family.

Abu Riyala told WAFA that the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem has demolished his house five times since 1999 under the pretext of unlicensed building, refusing to grant his family the required license. The municipal crews carried out the demolition without waiting for a court ruling, which was supposed to come out today.

He noted that the heavily-armed police assaulted him and his family members, fracturing the arm of one of his daughters.

Meanwhile, Israeli bulldozer tore down two structures and retaining walls in az-Za’ayyem town, northeast of the occupied city.

The soldiers escorted a bulldozer into the town, where the heavy machinery leveled a 70-square-meter dwelling belonging to Abdul-Rahman Salaymeh, reducing it to rubble and displacing his five-member family.

They also demolished a structure he used as a cattle barn, which covered an area of 120 square meters, in addition to retaining walls belonging to four other residents.

Using the pretext of illegal building, Israel demolishes houses on a regular basis to restrict Palestinian expansion in occupied Jerusalem.

At the same time, the municipality and government build tens of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem for Jews with a goal to offset the demographic balance in favor of the Jewish settlers in the occupied city.

Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian Territory that has been subject to Israeli military occupation since 1967, they are denied their citizenship rights and are instead classified only as “residents” whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city for more than a few years.

They are also discriminated against in all aspects of life including housing, employment and services, and are unable to access services in the West Bank due to the construction of Israel’s separation wall.

According to a report by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, the Israeli High Court could be liable for war crimes for their policies that led to the dispossession of Palestinians from their properties in Area C of the West Bank.

The report, Fake Justice, shows that the court’s support of Israeli planning policy is tantamount to support for dispossession and forcible transfer of Palestinians, a war crime under international law.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA)

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